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Have you taken the kids out for a meal lately? Did the lack of options on the kids menu surprise you given today’s obesity epidemic?

While parents can choose from smashed avocado or steak and salad, the kids get their choice from a menu of chicken nuggets, fish and chips, pizza and chips, mini burger and chips, among other less-than-healthy selections.

With Sushi becoming a popular lunch box choice, it is surprising more menus don’t offer this for our children. I rarely see an option of meat and veg these days for the kids.

More than 30,000 Australian children are now severely obese. Chefs and dietitians alike are calling for restauranteurs to give parents and younger diners a greater choice when assembling their children’s menus, reports ABC.

Dietitian Hannah Graham said ‘kid-sized’ versions of adult menu items was an idea worth considering.

“They should be eating a smaller portion of what is being served at the family table,” Ms Graham said.

“What parents are doing is normal to children, so giving [children] the same choices would definitely have positive effects.”

“We’re moving away from the whole ‘finish your plate’ ideal, because that’s where you lose touch with your appetite,” Ms Graham said.

“And if restaurants get to know what an actual portion size is, they can probably save themselves a whole lot of plate waste.”

The latest findings from Roy Morgan’s nationwide Young Australians Survey show more than one-third of the nation’s kids have body-image issues.

With More than one in five boys aged six to seven worry about being fat.

My eldest son (12) has refused to order off the kids menu for a couple of years now, due to lack of choice. But it can be tricky as most meals are too big for him to finish as well. Not many places are willing to adjust the size of a meal to suit the diner. Quite frustrating at times.

Many parents have vented their frustrations on the ABC Facebook page. Saying they often share meals with their kids so they can order a healthier option. Meanwhile some chefs and restaurant managers have actually lashed out saying they have tried to offer better choices but children always choose nuggets and chips. One person even commented saying teens will only order just garlic bread and/or chips.  Blaming parents for their bad choices.

Have you been impressed with a kids menu? Give a shout out below to the establishment.

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  • This is so true. It’s always nuggets/fish and chips. Never thought about it before!

    Reply

  • You can order a entree as a main size meal so you should be able to the opposite. I know of one place where if we ask them to cook a bit extra and put it in a bowl for our toddler they will happily do so and not charge as much as for a kid’s meal. He wouldn’t eat all a kid’s meal.

    Reply

  • Eating out is a treat for us, it doesn’t happen very often, so I think it’s fine for my kids to eat nuggets or chips or a burger. They eat really healthy at home, so a treat when we eat out won’t hurt. Everything in moderation people. For those who do it regularly, give the child a portion of your meal, a lot of restaurants have large serves

    Reply

  • Most of the times kids menu are really unhealthy. Something surely needs to be changed!!

    Reply

  • Parents can always order from the adult menu and just ask for an appetizer size for their children.

    Reply

  • Sushi is such a healthy lunch but we need more options for children.

    Reply

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